802.11a/b/g wireless networking/standard Ethernet networking
Apr 14, 2009
802.11a/b/g wireless networking/standard Ethernet networkingAn offering for the automation industry provides wireless and wired Ethernet networking options on the standard SNAP PAC programmable automation controllers (PACs) and I/O systems. Now using wireless for programmable automation controllers and I/O is as easy as it is for PCs and laptop computers. Wireless local area networking (WLAN) capabilities have been added to all of the company's Ethernet-based SNAP PAC System components, including its full line of intelligent SNAP I/O processors ("brains") and all standalone and rack-mounted programmable automation controllers (SNAP PACs). Control system designers can now architect systems with traditional Ethernet wiring, The wireless technology in the SNAP PAC devices is based upon the industry-standard IEEE-802.11 specification with support for a, b, and g networks operating in the license-free 5 GHz (802.11a) and 2.4 GHz (802.11b/g) frequency bands. In this way, the controllers and I/O brains can be used in the most common wireless infrastructures deployed in the world today. Wireless access points, wireless routers, and wireless repeaters from nearly any vendor can co-exist with SNAP PAC wireless technology. The 5 GHz (802.11a) option is particularly significant-and unique in industrial I/O systems-because it allows users to deploy SNAP PAC wireless in a frequency other than the typically crowded 2.4 GHz band, where interference from other 2.4 GHz devices, such as microwave ovens, could reduce performance. Security is provided via the latest and most secure transmission algorithms-including WPA (TKIP) and WPA2 (802.11i/AES)-to help build the robust and secure wireless communications system typically required for any wireless implementation today. In addition, SNAP PAC wireless supports either infrastructure mode, where communication among devices is routed through an access point, or ad hoc mode, where each device can detect and communicate with any other similarly configured network device within range. These wireless capabilities provide numerous benefits to users, beginning with the significant savings achieved through the reduction in wiring and termination costs. Wireless networking also makes it possible to deploy I/O and controllers in remote areas, areas that are inaccessible, or areas where network wiring is difficult or impossible to install.
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